Nifolasara – Funeral Coffin. This 'Nifolasara' coffin was made by members of the 'Tagusö' cultural group from Hilinawölö Fau village in South Nias. It was used during a procession at a large festival in Gunungsitoli. Later it was presented as a gift to the Nias Heritage Museum in 1999.
This kind of coffin is only used in South Nias and only for deceased noblemen. The dragon shaped head (Högö Lasara) adorning the coffin is made to resemble the ones carved on the bow of boats. This is reflected by its name (ni-fo-lasara = made like a boat). If a nobleman is buried, the Högö Lasara sports mustache and beard. These components are missing on a noblewomen’s Nifolasara coffin.
In the past, Nifolasara coffins were not completely buried. The Högö Lasara was kept visible from above the ground, so that the tomb could easily be recognized as belonging to someone from the noble society. Today, coffins are entirely buried and a concrete replica placed above the grave.
Origins: Hilinawölö Fau, South Nias
No. Inv: 03-3878
Length: 271 cm / Width: 48,5 cm / Height: 106 cm.